elicit

verb
elic·​it | \ i-ˈli-sət How to pronounce elicit (audio) \
elicited; eliciting; elicits

Essential Meaning of elicit

formal : to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone She's been trying to elicit the support of other committee members. My question elicited no response. She's been unable to elicit much sympathy from the public.

Full Definition of elicit

transitive verb

1 : to call forth or draw out (something, such as information or a response) her remarks elicited cheers
2 : to draw forth or bring out (something latent or potential) hypnotism elicited his hidden fears

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Other Words from elicit

elicitation \ i-​ˌli-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce elicit (audio) , ˌē-​ \ noun
elicitor \ i-​ˈli-​sə-​tər How to pronounce elicit (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for elicit

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for elicit

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent. educed order out of chaos evoke implies a strong stimulus that arouses an emotion or an interest or recalls an image or memory. a song that evokes warm memories elicit usually implies some effort or skill in drawing forth a response. careful questioning elicited the truth extract implies the use of force or pressure in obtaining answers or information. extracted a confession from him extort suggests a wringing or wresting from one who resists strongly. extorted their cooperation by threatening to inform

The Latin Roots of Elicit

Elicit derives from the past participle of the Latin verb elicere, formed by combining the prefix e- (meaning "away") with the verb lacere, meaning "to entice by charm or attraction." It is not related to its near-homophone, the adjective illicit—that word, meaning "unlawful," traces back to another Latin verb, licēre, meaning "to be permitted." Nor is elicit related to the verb solicit, even though it sounds like it should be. Solicit derives from Latin sollicitare ("to disturb"), formed by combining the adjective sollus, meaning "whole," with the past participle of the verb ciēre, meaning "to move."

Examples of elicit in a Sentence

If ever there was a two-way pleasure street, it's the delight a baby takes in being tickled and the joy the parent experiences in the tumble of laughter it elicits. — Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 17 Jan. 2005 Gingrich elicits perhaps the greatest sympathy when he talks about the challenge of graduating from a rabble-rousing backbencher in the House minority to presiding over (and trying to control) the first Republican majority in 40 years. — Richard L. Berke, New York Times Book Review, 17 May 1998 In a wild, captive wolf that is not socialized to man, approach will elicit flight and, if the wolf is cornered, a defensive reaction may be triggered, which is termed the critical-distance reaction. — Michael W. Fox, The Soul of the Wolf, 1980 She's been trying to elicit the support of other committee members. My question elicited no response. She's been unable to elicit much sympathy from the public.
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Recent Examples on the Web There are two bumbling cops who elicit some choice insults from Mike. Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2021 The man, surnamed Liu, pretended to be a victim who’d had a similar experience with Wu in order to elicit personal information from the young woman. Huizhong Wu, USA TODAY, 1 Aug. 2021 The Borrego Springs home is in a rural, North County desert area far from any urban centers, though its proximity to the golf course could elicit pushback from neighbors. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 July 2021 These kinds of rankings tended to elicit eye-rolls and yawns from people before the pandemic. Andy Meek, BGR, 27 July 2021 Atkins tried to elicit memories from her past, but his body suit was damp with sweat. New York Times, 22 July 2021 It’s a script written by Clint Eastwood and starring James Woods and Scott Baio, and one that’s seemingly designed to elicit feelings of pride and patriotism from the GOP base. Isaac Schorr, National Review, 15 Mar. 2021 And every cold snap can be counted on to elicit quips and stunts from those who deny the science of climate change. Star Tribune, 15 Feb. 2021 Segmenting program members can help define the right communications to elicit redemption behavior that helps generate further engagement with like-minded program members. Len Covello, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elicit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elicit

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for elicit

Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere, from e- + lacere to allure

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Dictionary Entries Near elicit

eliasite

elicit

elicitable

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Statistics for elicit

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elicit. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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